Saturday, August 12, in Charlottesville, VA, a white nationalist group, Unite the Right, exercised their right to protest the renaming of Emancipation Park from Robert E. Lee along with the removal of the Robert E. Lee Statue.
Protesters arrived as early as 8AM.
Counter-protesters arrived against the direction of Governor Terry McAuliffe who urged, "...Virginians, no matter how well-meaning, elect to stay away from the areas where this rally will take place."
Before noon, due to increasing violence, Governor Mcauliffe declares a state of emergency after law enforcement declared the gathering unlawful.
Shortly after 1PM, James Alex Fields, Jr., a protestor from Ohio rams his vehicle into a crowd of counter-protestors killing 32 year old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others. He's currently charged with 2nd degree murder.
Heather Heyer's final public Facebook post read, "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."
Our President took two full days to finally denounce the neo-Nazi and other white supremacist and white nationalist groups.
With a President in the White House who emboldens repugnant viewpoints of a type of a person who can't take responsibility for their own mediocrity, we've allowed this voice to rise to significance again.
And by murdering Heather Heyer, they've proven themselves the slime they're afraid to be judged as. Historically behind sheets that hid their identity, I must selfishly admit I prefer the hatred and racism of 2017 opposed to a few decades earlier. In the age of social media and the neverending timeline, you can't hide from your trollistic identity.
Just like the picture above, we can see you.
And like the rest of us, you will have to answer for both what you say and ultimately what you do.
As for me, I like my racism blatant and out in the open for everyone to see. Especially the murderous kind.
So what do we do now?
Know this. This is only the beginning. While all rational minds want peace before violence, the tipping point of race relations is unfolding. The historically disenfranchised are also emboldened in a way this country hasn't seen in our relatively young history. Perhaps emboldened isn't the right word. Tired.
Tired of the mixture of rage, powerlessness, fear, confusion, pride, a consistently shattered spirit.
Tired of feeling like we're acceptable of being murdered.
The overwhelming pressure to fight or flight feels palpable in our country, but the pressure will continue to build until we find a way to control the collective relief through love, understanding and dialogue; or not. And the pressure eventually violently bursts.
The events in Charlottesville were tragic. But it's only another rupture.
When the very environment you live, work, breathe, and raise your family in begins to change its very fabric, you're forced to ask yourself what is truly worth fighting and potentially dying for? And what can be left behind at the sake of you and your family's safety and survival?
As the pressure mounts in our country, and the historically disenfranchised begin to meet the real life faces of hate on our streets, in our neighborhood, schools, and grocery stores, I fear how many of us may be faced to ask ourselves this very question.
The American bubble was never sustainable to begin with.